Monday, May 5, 2008

The Rewards of Renovation

Whether you're a new homeowner or a long-time resident, making major home repairs or improvements can significantly add to your personal enjoyment, as well as significantly increase your home's resale value.

Where should you start? Here are a few key facts from recent studies to help you decide which renovations will increase your enjoyment of your home, and which to choose for their return on investment value (or both!):

Your best choices:

* Which investment provides the highest resale payback? In most areas of the country, a new air conditioning or heating system is worth up to 100% of its cost when it's time to sell

* Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom offers a more than 90% return on investment in resale value

* Adding a deck can add up to an 86% bump in resale value

* Replacing the windows in your home can produce a 60 - 70% payback

To consider carefully:

* Experts say that putting in a swimming pool usually provides only up to a 40% return on investment

* The two remodeling investments with the least resale value include finishing off your basement and upgrading your landscaping -- generally offering only a 30 - 60% return

Whether you do the work yourself or hire a contractor, making renovations to your home can be a source of pride and pleasure, as well as a smart financial investment.

Smitha Ramchandani is a licensed real estate professional at Weichert Realtors' Morristown West, New Jersey office. She is a Certified Buyer Specialist, a Home Marketing Expert and also an expert in buying and selling of townhouses and condominiums. You can reach Smitha at: 973-252-8245 (Res.) or online at:,,, ,, http://www.BerkshireHillsTownhomes.com, &